A List of Small-Business Ideas for a Home Business

Woman working on laptop at home on the couch. image by Andy Dean from Fotolia.com

Since the economic collapse of 2008, many individuals who have lost their jobs have turned to their inner entrepreneur to find a successful home-based solution to earn a living. Many small businesses that begin in the home take very little capital to start. Depending on your type of business, you may work very long hours and feel isolated at times. Conversely, you may find the independence and flexibility very satisfying. A bit of imagination and persistence helps to get going, as does an area you can dedicate to small office use.


Starting up an advertising or marketing copywriting service can be a lucrative business for writers or creative professionals. Advertising or marketing copywriters craft clever and precise words that sell products or services. All businesses need copywriters, and many do not have the budget to keep them on staff. To get started, you need a computer, a printer and online capacity. It also helps to have a creative mind and clever ideas for headlines, body copy, sales letters and other media, such as billboards and Web copy in a small portfolio. To be successful, you must build a client roster. Build a website and market your services. Approach your local businesses to discuss their marketing needs. You can also contact other design professionals who need ad copy but who may not have a way with words, such as graphic designers, small ad agencies or web designers. Ask them if you can send some writing samples their way.

Gift Baskets

Baskets filled with creative gifts, such as food, toiletries, alcohol or baby items, are a welcome gift and typically in demand during the holiday season. To start a gift basket business at home, you'll need room to assemble the basket, and – depending upon the size of the basket and the fill items – you may need quite a bit of space. Shopping for the inventory will take a large majority of your time. Your first purchase should be the baskets or containers that will hold the gift items. Decide what type of baskets you will create, then locate the inventory online or at wholesale outlets. Storing the physical inventory may require an additional storage facility, or your garage may work quite well. Your cost to deliver the baskets must also be factored into the operating costs.

In-Home Kennel Service

People love their pets and want the best care for them when they cannot be with them. This includes during the workday and while on vacation. If you have a way with animals and a desire to give them TLC, create an in-home kennel environment. Pet lovers can bring their pets to your home for constant supervision while they are away. You should be prepared to deal with animal conflicts, if they arise, messes to clean up and knowledge of proper feeding and exercise needs for different animals. Your start-up needs may include leashes, food bowls, crates, treats, toys, hoses and a dedicated area for your kennel, such as a patio, yard or spare bedroom.

Full-Charge Bookkeeper

An at-home, full-charge bookkeeper performs the record-keeping tasks of small enterprises, such as businesses, doctors and churches. Payroll, taxes, and monthly and quarterly financial statements are easily outsourced to qualified bookkeepers who work from home; typically the only duty outsourced to a CPA is corporate taxes. You will need office space, a computer, printer, calculator and filing cabinets, which can take up quite a bit of space, depending upon how many clients you service. Consulting services outside the office may take up several days per month. Find your roster of clients through networking, word of mouth and the local chamber of commerce.